Sometimes we’ll travel somewhere new and in a blink of an eye, it’s over. We haven’t taken the time to really immerse in our new surroundings – oftentimes because we’re too busy taking pictures or knocking things off our bucket lists. But when you visit the city of Bath, about 100 miles west of London, it’s almost impossible not to take a big breath and slow down a while. Read below to find out what to do in Bath for a day, what to eat, and attractions to see!!
What to do in Bath for a day: Get The Royal Treatment
We arrived in the dark, thrown off by how quiet and serene the city streets were compared to the Big Smoke only a couple hours away. A warm greeting met us at the Queensberry Hotel, making for a perfect base for an overnight of exploring. I’ve been used to being squished into big city rooms, but our accommodations at Queensberry were the complete opposite.
A sprawling room with a king-sized bed is adorned in royal purples that surround the whole massive space. Luxury chocolates left on the desk didn’t go amiss either and were great to go along with our nightcap of bubbles before bed.
Classic Eats with a Twist
Although they have a delicious restaurant on the premises, we knew a hearty breakfast awaited us at the Queensberry in the morning. Down the street is a cozy gastropub called The Chequers. Soft candlelight flickered on the tiny tables as we tucked into a hearty, yet complex meal or delicious flavor and style. I had memorable stone bass perfectly cooked with rainbow chard and squid. We couldn’t leave either without an order of the fresh passionfruit puree and some well-paired ales to wash it down.
Much of what makes Bath magical is found in the center of the city. It’s only a short walk from the Queensberry Hotel to the main shopping, dining and relaxation areas of the city center too. The next day it was a breeze to take a quick stroll after a full English to the square, covered in street performers. We heard everything from young guys crooning on guitars to opera singers in front of the Bath Abbey. However, we were on our way to the highlight of Bath – a wonderful oasis beckoning us to unwind.
Traditions of Relaxation
Fret not if you’re stuck wondering what to do in Bath. For a day (or even a weekend), time spent in the countless spas here will whisk all your stress away. The Thermae Bath Spa has a rich, centuries-old history. By maintaining ties to tradition but elevating their modernity too, the spa welcomes all types of people to simply relax and let their worries float away.
While we spent most of our time in the New Royal Bath/Main Spa, there’s another, more ancient spot across the cobblestone road that celebrates the allure and tradition of old scared thermal baths. The Cross Bath has been a sacred spot for Celtic people for centuries, which was then later honored by Romans. The doors are almost secret, heavy and holding mythic legends held revered by locals in town. An artist has since created a domed glass structure over the natural spring that bubbles out and fills a large pool that can welcome up to 12 guests at a time. It seems perfect for a luxurious girlfriend getaway or family reunion, as the Cross Bath can be used publicly or rented out for parties.
Custom Queenly Treatment in Bath
Back in the main spa, we slipped on some fluffy robes and slipper provided by staff in the modern changing room. Everyone also received a special smartband, which can be used to access most areas and also pay for items at the shop and café. This way, you can leave everything else in the lockers and not worry about things getting wet! Next, you’re led to several floors via winding white staircases of options for guests to try. The Minerva Bath is on the bottom floor, compiled of a large wading pool and gentle lazy river. Have a nap under the nearby heat lamps and loungers, or go into the steam bath section for a more invigorating experience.
At the top of the Thermae Bath Spa complex lies a perfect outdoor oasis for everyone. We dipped into the heated pool area on the roof, which overlooks the amazing city, complete with towering abbey just off in the distance. Although I didn’t want to leave, I had a custom facial appointment booked in the afternoon, so I headed down to the beautiful, calm treatment area and was taken care of by top-notch pros from beginning to end. Each facial is designed to target various skin types, to ensure exfoliation and mask services are catering to individual problem areas. The best part was a mini neck and shoulder massage while the mask set in, which almost had me drift off while underneath a fluffy towel as soft music played in the background. I loved the Aromatherapy Association products used too, delighting all the senses at once. She targeted my problem areas and worked out all those knots we accumulate throughout the week. I appreciated the recommendations of products at the end as well, which wasn’t pushed upon me like some other spas, but merely suggested.
It’s not often these days you are able to completely disconnect and just float for a day. No tweeting about how cool the steam room was, or taking selfies at the rooftop pool. There are no Snapchat stories for the spa rooms or GoPro footage of the lazy river. It’s instead so simple, quiet and gives to a chance to just be present. Throughout all of what to do in Bath for a day, the tranquility of the spas really couldn’t be beat.
If you’re looking for a nice and relaxing mini vacation in Bath, consider these top-rated spa hotels.
Oh, and don’t forget about retail therapy!
Whether you’re looking for an educational or peaceful trip, the city of Bath has an abundance and beauty and uniqueness to offer.